The Yawning Earnings Gap

A whopping 86 percent of India’s working age population are stuck at skill Levels 1 and 2 taking their earning further and further away from their more skilled counterparts. What are the weaknesses in the current education and vocational training systems contributing to this malaise? Low job numbers are only one aspect of the problem. What about the quality of employment? And what do we know about the return on skills i.e. how much does an individual stand to gain in their earnings from moving up the skills ladder? Are skills the only major determinant of income differentials? Education, gender, digital usage, industry sector are all players to different degrees in establishing earnings potential. It will be prudent for policymakers to increase opportunities for youth through better education and better vocational skilling to get them to maximise earnings. India cannot progress on the back of low skills and low wages opine the authors of this article.

Skills Matter: Not Degrees

Withmid-level and lateral hiring taking a dominant position in Indian recruitment in 2019, Neeti Sharma, Senior VP, Teamlease Services emphasises that candidates will be scrutinised for their skill relevance and not just their degrees. What is interesting is that industry specific skills are no longer the holy grail of recruitment. Transferable skills from other industries are also high on a recruiter’s wish list. New job creation must be cognizant of changing requirements and skilling candidates prior to them venturing into the world of work. Hence, Neeti suggests vocational skills education needs to start in the early years of schooling to expose students to both foundational and specialised skills as options along with traditional education. This means introducing students to experiential learning via four classroom modes. What are they? And what kind of skill development programmes lead to higher productivity? And how can SMEs and MSMEs be given a leg up to strengthen their talent pool through local hiring? Find the answers here.

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